Fearless Friday, Alphabet Challenge

A lot of people are doing monthly challenges of one sort of the other, and there are lots of fun artsy challenges you can join or do, on instagram, on line, etc.



Since I’m usually 5 minutes late to everything, 😳  I didn’t start this on the first of the month as most monthly challenges, I started on Oct 5…

Which works out just right mathematically since the alphabet is my theme and it only has 26 letters 🤣



This is just a personal challenge I made up for me, a goal of drawing/painting at least a few minutes everyday

I chose a watercolor painting from colorbox.com for reference to paint the red pepper

It’s okay to “borrow” from another artist as long as you acknowledge your source, and if you want to use it for revenue, just like a recipe it cannot be a “copycat,”  you must change it to make it your original



I am dabbling in publishing a cookbook and can’t decide if I want to use illustrations or photos…the artist in me wants to use drawings and paintings, but does the reader want to see art or real food photos?



I am concentrating on food drawings for this challenge, using marker, ink, colored pencil and watercolor, and trying out different fonts to improve lettering skills as well




You’re probably thinking I started with “P” as in pretzel and pancakes…nope!

“A” is for agile, like anyone who can do a pretzel type pose  🙏




And “B” is for butter, as in pancakes oozing with butter and syrup




This is super fun and I will share some tricks I’ve learned already, like making and using a color chart and choosing your colors before you start so you don’t waste time rifling through stuff and making decisions




You’ve heard me preach often about art supply organization and studio set ups and this is really the key to success…so before you do anything,

#1 Organize!!  Every time I see these trays I itch to sit down and play


2. Purge and splurge!!  Go through your stash and throw out anything old and dried up etc.  Treat yourself to some new supplies, or dust off some old ones, to jump start your motivation

I keep wish lists on Dick Blick and Amazon of things that I might want to buy or try

My husband always asks “Do you think you have enough markers and pencils?”

The answer is always a resounding “NO!”


I have tried Art Snacks and Sketch Box, monthly subscription boxes full of goodies

The contents are secret until they are shipped and the month begins, so you are rolling the dice a bit, but the anticipation is exciting, and the boxes will introduce you to things you might never have tried



3. Pick out your subjects, inspiration photos, theme or idea in advance. That way when you sit down to work, you don’t waste time wondering what to draw or paint.  This is where having a theme for your challenge helps…but don’t let it confine you, if you feel like deviating, deviate!

“D” is for Dr. Pepper


4.  Designate a spot or make a portable “studio” with a tray, bag, or box and put it near a comfortable place so you can be ready in an instant



These trays at my fingertips can easily be moved to another spot or put away when guests arrive




Keep a tote packed with supplies for a Sketching Tote, always ready to go anywhere




5.  Stay loose, this is for fun.  Don’t dwell on perfection or results!  Do something crazy, do something different.  Do something uncomfortable!

E is for Egg


Have you’ve done a challenge?   Share your experience in the comment section, it would be great to hear about it!




Oh and don’t forget to let me know your thoughts on a cookbook,  illustrations or photos?


Thanks so much for your comments and feedback and remember, let loose and

Be Fearless!

🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨   🎨

I will be joining these fabulous parties and blogs:

Rustic and RefinedBetween Naps on the Porch, Gardens Galore  Make it Pretty Monday

Coastal CharmCooking and Crafting with J&J,  The Scoop,   A Stroll Thru Life 

Celebrate and Decorate,   Oh My Heartsie Girl  Creatively Crafty      Full Plate Thursday

Foodie Friday & Everything Else    Thursday Favorite Things   Home Matters

Share it One More Time   Delicious Dishes Recipe Party    Sundays at Home












28 Responses to “Fearless Friday, Alphabet Challenge”
  1. Jodi says:

    So much art fun!!

  2. Mary says:

    Love your personal challenge Jenna! A cookbook from The Painted Apron should definitely be filled illustrations instead of photos 🙂

  3. thefrenchhutch says:

    Love the red pepper and I agree with Mary, do the cookbook with your illustrations! I want a signed copy :} I will be your first customer, I am placing my order now…………

  4. Sharon Mann says:

    Hi Jenna – Your art will be perfect for your new cookbook. Wonderful lettering and drawing.

  5. Whew! So glad this post was about beautiful drawings of food! When I saw that first photo, I thought it was one of those drawings a psychiatrist gives you to test if you’re a sociopath or not! 🙂 🙂 🙂 You are so incredibly gifted with your art skills. A book would be right up your alley!

  6. RS says:

    I so enjoy your recipes, they are unique and inspiring. You should do a cookbook and I think a mix of painting and photos would be great1

    • Thank you for the feedback, that is actually what I am trying to do, but I’m struggling with getting a cohesive look, I keep changing my mind…it’s really helpful to hear your thoughts~

  7. Illustrations, hands down! Most cookbooks are photographed. Have you seen the Forest Feast cookbook? Love your challenge . A friend did the same, but painted African animals alphabetically backwards, all doing something fun….zip lining zebras for example. Her challenge was to get them done on her train ride into the city to her non creative big job. Here is a link to her children’s book if you want to see some of her illustrations. I took her author’s photo 🙂 https://www.amazon.com/Charlie-Zebra-Awesome-Hat-Luebbert/dp/149179982X

    Johanne Lamarche


  8. Ricki Treleaven says:

    I really need to take the time to make a color chart for my Derwent InkTense pencils for both dry and wet because I’m always surprised at the color…..why do I do this to myself? I think that might be my project next time we go to the lake….take nothing but a watercolor journal and those dang pencils and make charts!!!!

    PLEASE write a cookbook and illustrate it. Don’t use photos. I think your illustrations would be so much better and unique, like Mary Engelbreit, Ling Chang, and Susan Branch!!!

    I love the alphabet challenge! You could put them together in a little book. Do you ever make art journals with your drawings?

    Have a great weekend, Jenna!!!!


    • Oh goodness, I really appreciate your enthusiasm! Your will thank yourself every day if you make a good color reference chart, plus they are fun to make! I probably will do something with the alphabet challenge drawings when I get through, not sure. I’ve never kept a journal, this is the closest I’ve come, but I have stacks of full sketch books…it’s fun to flip back through them. I started a cookbook a couple of years ago with another person but it ultimately didn’t work out. So I have been working on one the past few months, just trying to decide the direction I want to take. It’s fun getting all the different inputs from readers~

  9. Your artwork is fun to watch unfold! However, when it comes to a cookbook, I would prefer to see photos of the food, not artwork. Need to see what it’s supposed to look like.
    Have a great weekend.

  10. Jenna, why not incorporate pics of the food and your art! That would make the book unique, your art is too great not to have some in your cookbook…just my opinion! Love your recipes and art…a winning combination!

  11. I love all these tips! I’ve done an informal challenge with two other bloggers — a drawing a week based on whatever the week’s theme was. It was fun. Being in it with others you knew made following through more reliable! Cookbook — the one I’m working on is for family mostly and right now doing photos. But I’ve been considering going the other way — illustrations — to make it better for others. I think both work. If it’s a complicated set-up, I like a photo but if it’s cookies, say, a drawing is fine (as a user.)

  12. Sandy Park says:

    Oh Jenna a cookbook with your drawings scattered throughout and then pictures of the food (the final product). I think a combination of both would be great. I love your art work.

  13. Jill Kuhn says:

    I love the art challenge you have given yourself!! YAY Jenna!! 🎨👍 And I LOVE your illustrations – those pancakes look delish oozing with BUTTER!! Yum! 😋 I think your cookbook would look awesome with your own illustrations and your photos of the finished dish. I always enjoy seeing your food photos too! 😍

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